Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Dark Steps reviewed at Sabotage (or, 'on being reviewed')

My collection of short fiction, Dark Steps, has been reviewed by Ian Chung for Sabotage. Like all the best reviews, it isn't a breathless love song to the book, neither is it a hatchet job. Ian has written a balanced, fair review in which he, knowingly or otherwise, adheres to the 'feedback sandwich' approach of couching constructive criticism within praise.

Of course all such critiques are subjective. I don't necessarily agree with everything Ian says, but equally he does raise some interesting and valid points. And no, I'm not just talking about the discussion of things in the book that he likes.

Now being the author (and, for Dark Steps, editor, cover artist, agent, promoter, manager, chief cook and bottle-washer), I am naturally going to cherry-pick the best bits out of the review, and use them whenever and wherever I can. Things like:
When the techniques [narrator-reader gap and ending with a twist] succeed, the outcome is masterful.
...the surprise reveal ... forces the reader to rethink the significance of everything that has just been read.
And I'm going to ignore some bits too. You can cherry-pick those for yourself.

All in all though, Ian's review makes for very interesting reading, and I am grateful to him and Sabotage for its publication. Have you read Dark Steps yet? How does the review equate to your impression of the book? I'd love to know. You can comment below or after the review itself, which you can find here.

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